Todd Farmer Talks My Bloody Valentine 2, Halloween 3D, The Monkey's Paw, and More!
Now that Valentine’s Day has passed, this writer must ask: How many of you horror fans celebrated by watching My Bloody Valentine 3D, the wickedly fun 2009 remake of the 80s slasher classic?
Given the nature of that film’s ending, have you ever wondered why a sequel has never materialized? To ring in this V-Day right, Dread caught up with MBV3D co-writer Todd Farmer to discuss the sequel-that-never-was.
Dread Central: My Bloody Valentine 3D opened over four years ago in early 2009, reportedly made on a budget of $15 million dollars. It went on to gross over $50 million domestically and over $100 million worldwide. That success, coupled with the sequel-friendly nature of the film’s conclusion, leads me to ask – where’s the sequel?!
Todd Farmer: I wish I knew! Patrick and I had a wonderful take. We pitched it a couple of weeks before MBV3D came out and everyone was excited. We were gonna bring the whole gang back, cast and crew. But... you know. It came down to ARRRGGGGGG. I don't know. We heard lots of reasons. We heard there were rights issues; then we heard there were internal conflicts... it went on and on, and in the end none of it really matters because a great many cosmic cogs just tumble and turn in just the right direction for a movie to get made... but it only takes one "no".
Dread Central: MBV3D director Patrick Lussier had previously spoken to Dread Central, mentioning Lionsgate’s somewhat vague reasoning for abandoning the sequel. Was there ever a concrete explanation eventually given to either of you as to why the studio wasn’t willing to move forward with this potentially lucrative franchise?
Todd Farmer: In the end we heard Joe Drake, the studio head at the time, didn't feel comfortable with genre films and wanted to move the company in another direction. Now is that concrete? Who knows?
Dread Central: The original My Bloody Valentine had a rather open-ended finale as well. When you first began writing the remake, did you always see your conclusion as being somewhat of an homage to the original’s ending, or were you intending to leave the door open for another installment? Can you discuss what direction MBV2 might have gone in?
Todd Farmer: If memory serves, when we started the shoot, we had a final end to the thing but changed as we went on. Patrick came up with the idea of keeping the myth alive. You'd have to ask him his reasons, but if I had to guess, I think he loved the cast and loved telling this story. It felt like a great world and wonderful characters to revisit.
And no spoilers. Hollywood is too fickle. Who knows, one day we might come back. Of course, IF we had recently spoken with anyone about the slim possibilities of relaunching the franchise... well, I obviously wouldn't be able to tell you.
Dread Central: Given that Lionsgate still seems to be in the horror business, what with their recent success with Texas Chainsaw 3D, do you feel as though there might still be a chance that audiences could see the continuing adventures of Harry Warden/Tom Hanniger? Would you and Patrick Lussier consider reteaming for the sequel if the opportunity arose?
Todd Farmer: Yes and yes. Again, we had fun with the first one. Patrick and I weren't writing partners at the time, although we more or less were. This is the movie that made us official. So yeah, we've discussed it over the years, and it's hard not to love the little miner than could.
Dread Central: Speaking of sequels, could you give us an update on Halloween 3D?
Todd Farmer: You'd have to ask team Weinstein about H3D. I haven't heard anything in well over a year. Still marvel that we wrote a script in eight days AND that it was pretty good. I'm shocked the thing hasn't leaked online after all this time, but I suppose that's because there were only a handful who saw it.
Dread Central: Can you tell us what became of the Dark Castle remake of I Saw What You Did, which Mr. Lussier had discussed in the previously mentioned interview?
Todd Farmer: I Saw What You Did. Wow, what a fun one. Three Days of the Condor in High School. Least that's what Patrick came up with and brought me in on it. What a lovely script that was. We pitched it a four or five times, were sent off to write it, and then when we did, we were told we did exactly what we'd pitched and Rona wished he'd told use before we started that he really wanted a masked killer or a ghost. Oh. Okay.
Dread Central:Are you at liberty to discuss any of your upcoming projects? IMDb lists two upcoming features that you’ve written – Heavenly Sword and The Monkey’s Paw.
Heavenly Sword was based on the video game and is all but done. A week or two from finished. I've not seen it yet. My buddy Tom Jane does a voice so it should be fun. I'm doing the Gold Coast Film Festival in April - that's Down Under - and we plan on screening it there so I'll get to see it then.
Monkey's Paw is the darkest script I've written. It's with RKO Pictures and has a stunning new director attached, but we're waiting on him to finish The Crow. I guess I should make some calls and see if that's still the case.
Dread Central: You’ve recently had a comic book released by DC Comics, titled Insurgent, which is currently on its second issue. Can you discuss its origins a bit? Considering how cinematic the book seems at times, did it initially begin life as a potential film? Might there be an Insurgent movie at some point in the future?
FJ [DeSanto, co-writer] and I started talking Insurgent a dozen years ago. We called it Sleepers back then, named after sleeper agents. It did start as a movie concept. A big, high dollar action thing. Although I love horror, action was always a great love of mine so when the opportunity arose to do something outside my normal box, I jumped at it. We started at Wildstorm and somehow survived several company shifts and earthquakes to land at DC. Sort of amazing. And all due to FJ's dogmatic, never give up, never surrender attitude. And yes. There has been some feature interest. We'll see what happens. As we both know, it only takes one "no."
Dread Central: One parting question: As a writer who has worked consistently in the genre, can you tell your fans – why horror?
Why horror? Funny. I have my normal answer which is... when I started, only New Line and Dimension really embraced horror. Everyone else looked down their noses at it. But horror was the way to get in. The budgets were low, and there wasn't big A-list competition like there is now. And that IS why. But something funny happened along the way. Not only was I pretty okay at horror, I loved writing it. Because horror is in everything we do. There is no good without bad, no light without darkness. Horror is funny and sad and thrilling. I write horror because... it's my home now.
A very special thanks to Mr. Farmer for taking the time to speak with us. You can check out My Bloody Valentine on both DVD and Blu-ray, while the first two issues of Insurgent can be found at your local comic book shop.
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